Escape from America article roundup

All articles from Escape From America Magazine, Volume Five Issue Number Seven - July 2003

"Foreign Devils In The Middle Kingdom": Teaching Overseas ~ By Ben Hill

Thus life in China, although enjoyable and fascinating beyond measure, can also be very frustrating. Separate laws and regulations apply to Foreign Guests - I cannot, for example, even receive a parcel without the permission of my 'work unit', nor can I stay at certain hotels - these are 'Chinese Only'. Even where I am allowed to stay, I am often required to pay twice as much, or more, as the locals for the privilege - despite only earning a local salary - and although the widespread dual-pricing policy of the last few decades is being - officially speaking at least - eradicated, many traces remain.

If these 'rules' were applied evenly, then they would be a little easier to swallow, but for foreign nationals of Chinese descent and appearance, they are conveniently forgotten. This amounts to little more than state-sanctioned racism, but the Chinese don't see it like that - and would be aghast if it were suggested. These are the rules, they say, and that is all there is to it. There is even a stock refrain: 'guiding shi guiding' - rules are rules. It can't be racist, because there is No Racism in China; it is a Foreign Problem. But then so is anything else that the government considers unhealthy - prostitution, juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, homosexuality, mental illness - for the Chinese, these are all Foreign Problems.

"In Siam With Passion II": Relocating To Thailand ~ By Tomy Gunn

Let's face it though, part of this must be attributed simply to 'progress', for better or worse. The Internet is widely used and the English language is being taught in public schools and private sectors as well. Business and industry are partnering and expanding and they are quite good at participating and competing in the global economy in numerous areas. Multinational corps like F_rd and D_le have opened factories here and hired Thai labor for peanut wages compared to the wages they are required to pay at home. Shame on them for screwing everybody in the name of corporate profits, but such is life in the corporate world, I suppose.

Oh, boo hoo - pity the poor misguided workers who actually got a steady paycheck. That's the kind of attitude you get from an expat Emmy nominee.

"Living And Teaching In Singapore And Hong Kong": What You Need To Know ~ By Mark Redmayne.

I sneezed as the dust awoke from its slumber and loose pieces of 'lino' crunched under my feet. There was very little light due to the musty ill-fitting curtains that had been dragged across the small window in the living room and I removed my prescription sunglasses so that I might see more clearly. A middle aged Chinese man (who I assumed to be the landlord), appeared in the doorway and then quickly stepped past James to pull the curtains apart.

Too bad this writer didn't specify exactly which country he was in - although, from the description of abandoned cars, I would have to say Hong Kong.

"Dream Job-Nightmare Trip Moving To Norway, Or Not...": When Things Go Wrong ~ By Karen Southall Watts

It was the job opportunity of a lifetime, a one-year contract as an economic development consultant in beautiful western Norway. I was going to be working with local schools, governments and entrepreneurs while my children and I lived in a postcard perfect rural village near the fjords. Within just a few weeks we were packed and flying home, just in time for my kids to end up almost a whole grading period behind in school. What happened?

"Retire In A Wealthy Nation": Switzerland ~ By Bonnie Burns

Is it possible to live well on a fixed and modest income in one of the wealthiest countries on the planet? I was about to find out. If you have ever been to Switzerland on vacation, you know that it is beautiful, clean, safe, but shockingly expensive.

A fun-to-read article about how the author got her residency permit, and descriptions of daily life that you won't find in a tourist brochure.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Sun 10 August 2003. Tags: business, china, international